Days before The Grammys are set to air, the former CEO of The Recording Academy is fired and she is not going down with a fight or dropping a few major bombs.
Deborah Dugan was only the CEO of the Recording Academy for a short time and was reveling in his historic appointment. She was the organization’s first female in their C-Suite. Let go on Jan. 16th, last Thursday, she took no time to file a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Academy.
In her complaint, she let loose with a ton of secrets that is sure to make this GRAMMY season blush. According to The NPR, one of those company secrets is that Neil Portnow, who held the job before her, raped a female artist in New York. [Clutch those pearls] She also revealed that despite his alleged sexual assault of another woman, she was forced by the chair of Recording Academy Board, John Poppo, to hire him as a “consultant” and basically making her presence in the position just a facade. His fee? Three-quarters of a cool M.
Another major bomb as that the Academy’s general counsel and former board chair, Joel Katz, sexually harassed her last year and before she took the CEO position, making her feel devalued.
Both Neil Portnow and Joel Katz have flat out called her a liar.
Portnow released a statement in Billboard that called her allegations “inaccurate, false and outrageous.”
“This document is filled with inaccurate, false and outrageous and terribly hurtful claims against me. The allegations of rape are ludicrous, and untrue. The suggestion that there was is disseminating a lie. The baseless complaint about my conduct referenced in the EEOC filing was immediately brought to the attention of the Board of Director’s Executive Committee. An in-depth independent investigation by experienced and highly regarded lawyers was conducted and I was completely exonerated. There was no basis for the allegations and once again I deny them unequivocally.”Billboard, Former Recording Academy President Neil Portnow Responds to Rape and Other Allegations, Calling Them ‘Ludicrous and Untrue’, 1/22/20
Katz also released a statement through his lawyer, Howard Weitzman, stating in more eloquent words (of course) that she was bugging.
“Ms. Dugan’s allegations of harassment and her description of a dinner at the steakhouse in the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel are false, and Mr. Katz categorically and emphatically denies her version of that evening.”
“Mr. Katz believed they had a productive and professional meeting in a restaurant where a number of members of the Board of Trustees of the Academy, and others, were dining.”
“Mr. Katz will cooperate in any and all investigations or lawsuits by telling the absolute and whole truth. Hopefully Ms. Dugan will do the same.”NPR, statement given to the site from Attorney Howard Weitzman’s office.
Her allegations did not stop with that.
Dugan, according to Pitchfork, breaks down what she seems to be shocked at but many have been saying forever; the underrepresentation of women and minority groups at the show and with the awards.
She states what seems to be systemic racism and sexism by saying that they “routinely faced criticism for failing to honor Black artists,” and that the process is “ripe with corruption.”
The Academy is saying that something is ripe alright… maybe even past that… downright gone bad, and she is the bad fruit. They say that if she had those problems that these allegations never came up until she knew she was getting fired because she herself was harassing people. She was under investigation for allegedly bullying another female employee. The Academy alleges that Dugan wanted $22 million to step down.
Y’all clearly, she knows where the bodies are buried.
They gave this statement: “We regret that Music’s Biggest Night is being stolen from them by Ms. Dugan’s actions and we are working to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”
According to the NPR, over the last 7 months, Dugan has been working hard to do some “major restructuring,” pledge to make the awards more gender and racially inclusive and diverse, measurable goals to achieve that goal and adding measures to enhance voting regarding the awards more transparent to the membership.
However, 10 days before the actual show, she was placed on administrative leave… essentially canning the whistleblower.